Yesterday morning, I read Steve Pressfield’s blog on “The 10,000-Hour Rule.” I thought about it all day long, then yesterday late in the afternoon, I crossed paths with one of my spiritual mentors, Father Greg.
“How’s the new book coming along?” he asked in his affable way.
“I’ve been working on it well over a year, and I still have a ways to go, but I like it. This is the one,” I told him.
Despite some success with my previous four novels – particularly The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas – one novella and one trivia book, I’ve learned much in the 10 years that I transitioned from corporate America to full-time writing.
After reading Mr. Pressfield’s blog yesterday, I did some personal research and learned a bit about “The 10,000-Hour Rule.” Based on studies by Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, journalist Malcolm Gladwell refers frequently to the 10,000-hour rule in his 2008 book Outliers: The Story of Success.
Gladwell suggests that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. He uses the Beatles as an example. The band amassed 10,000 hours playing in Europe, primarily Germany before the “British Invasion” when they came to the U.S. in February 1964. The rest is history.
It occurs to me that I have cleared the 10,000-hour plateau, and as I work on this new novel – a lengthy, historical tome – I can actually see improvements over previous efforts.
No, I cannot, would not and do not consider myself a master in anything. That title is reserved for a very special few. Still, I can see the validity to Ericsson’s research, Gladwell’s interpretation of it and Mr. Pressfield’s blog about it in my own work. I hope you will too when I release my new novel in about 1,000 more hours.